As a relative newcomer to the “historic market town” of St Neots, I feel obliged to share my chav-spotting hints with the wider world.
With a high street sporting such chav mecca’s as Woolworths, Size-Up, and the Bargain World o’ Tat, and a market square providing adequate parking for numerous Vauxhall Nova’s, Astra’s, and the occasional Cavalier it’s no surprise that chavs are drawn to St Neots.
The St Neots chav is a complex breed, coming in many forms.
At the most basic, primordial level the St Neots Chav is a lowly and reviled beast, clad in the finest pseudo sportswear available on the highstreet. These darwinian barrel-scrapings are the lowest order of chav, being without either car or designer clothing, having spent their dole on Harry Ramsden’s Fish & Chips (well it’s a classy chippy, innit?) and the finest Elizabeth Duke jewellery available to man.
At the more evolved level, there appear to be a number of chavs who have managed to master budgetary control to such a level that they have been able to divide their income successfully between knock-off designerwear and cheap fags, whilst saving enough of their dole to be able to afford a rudimentary automobile. This sub-species, known as “Barrys”, are most clearly evident on friday and saturday evenings when they drive their “modded” cars around the town in ever decreasing circles, ending at the glittering vehicular showground known to more civilised citizens as the Lidl carpark.
Featuring innovative use of chickenwire and cheap speakers, and displaying colour schemes including red, black, silver, and polyfilla (on one vehicle alone), the Barry takes great pride in his conveyance. They do, however, seem to suffer from some form of congenital spinal defect which makes it impossible for them to sit in the driving seat of a car without leaning significantly to the left.
At the upper evolutionary echelon of the St Neots chav are the monied Barrys, who seem to delight in taking otherwise agreeable cars and adding some very expensive “features” to decrease their value. Popular among these “mods” are extensive body kits, exhaust pipes capable of admitting the drivers entire head, excessively sized alloy wheels which barely fit within the wheel arches (and I mean you, Mr. “Rolling on 19’s”), and overly amplified stereos with tinny speakers and a large bass-bin which when combined with chav music gives the casual spectator the distinct impression of a miss-firing tractor transporting a pair of rabid alsatians in a dustbin.
When not “cruising” the mean streets of St Neots, the chav population can be found imbibing fine ales and spirits ina number of hostelries – the New Inn (footie chavs), Shotz (great name. No, really), and the oft-lauded Priory (DJ ’til late…), or indulging their gastronomic urges courtesy of Mr Harry Ramsden or the USA Chicken emporium (why have Kentucky whe you can have the whole USA!?!)
It may be an established market town in the commuter deadlands between Biggleswade and Peterborough, but for the chavs and Barrys it’s home from home.